As we age, the tissues in the body change, and that can sometimes lead to pain, stiffness, and even sexual dysfunction. But while there isn’t much you can do to stop the passage of time, you can do something to minimize the effects of time on your body. In particular, treatments like Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for arthritis (ESWT) are good options for many patients with a variety of health concerns. At Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA, we know that ESWT is generally a good fit for most patients who want to improve their overall wellbeing.
What Is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)?
ESWT is a type of non-surgical, minimally invasive energy-based therapy that is used to rehabilitate damaged tissues in the body. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) uses a combination of high or low-energy acoustic sound waves to break up damaged tissues in the body and stimulate the body’s natural regenerative abilities. Because this therapy is completely customizable, it can be used for a variety of purposes all over the body.
How Does This Treatment Work?
Most of the time, you can expect your treatment to take roughly 20 to 40 minutes to complete depending on the number of areas being treated. During your treatment, the conductive gel will be applied to the skin and a probe will be placed on the skin to deliver the acoustic energy. The shock wave system will then be turned on and placed in a setting that is appropriate for your concerns.
The key principle behind this treatment is stimulating your body’s natural ability to heal itself. While shock waves can break up damaged tissue, such as scar tissue that is restricting blood vessels or causing stiffness in the joints, the shock waves can also enhance your healing response. This therapy is thought to create inflammation in the body that improves blood flow to injured areas and helps create regenerative proteins that will help the body heal itself correctly.
What Can Shock Wave Therapy Treat?
This treatment can be used to address a variety of health concerns. One of the main uses for this treatment is joint pain or arthritis, as well as other conditions such as:
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Neck and back pain
- Heel pain
- Degenerated tendons
- Other musculoskeletal conditions
This treatment is also well-known for its ability to help resolve erectile dysfunction, particularly in men who have not responded to other treatments, such as hormone therapy or biologics like Viagra.
What Causes Joint Pain?
Arthritis is the most common cause of joint pain; both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can destroy the cartilage on the joints between bones, which is what causes inflammation and pain. This particular treatment is best suited for treating osteoarthritis, which is generally a byproduct of the aging process in some people. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to break down prematurely, particularly in areas of the body that have been over-used over the lifetime.
Joint pain can also be caused by acute injury or strains. For example, many athletes overwork their joints and create friction around the joints that can cause pain; usually, these acute injuries are also accompanied by muscle strains that can take time to heal.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
There are a few causes of erectile dysfunction, including hormonal changes, psychological factors, and physical factors. Shock wave therapy for arthritis can address some of the physical factors that cause erectile dysfunction. One of the primary causes of ED in aging men is the restriction of blood vessels in the penis, sometimes caused by scar tissue from groin injuries. This treatment can break up that scar tissue and improve penile blood flow to correct erectile dysfunction.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
Most people will require more than one treatment to see optimal results. In fact, it’s common to need at least one to three treatments spaced two to four weeks apart to see any significant results from this treatment. We will be able to determine the number of treatments you will need based on how well you respond to this treatment and the expectations you have for your results.
Will You Need To Take Time Off After Your Treatment?
No, you will not need to take any time away from work or your normal activities after this treatment is complete. Because shock wave therapy is non-invasive, there is no reason why you will need to alter any of your normal behavior or activities unless recommended by your care provider. Some patients may prefer to take the rest of the day off after their treatment. You will not need to follow any significant aftercare procedures.
How Soon Will You See Results?
It may take several weeks to see any results from this treatment and it may depend on the area that is being treated or the severity of your health condition. Your results may also appear gradually as your body rebuilds healthy tissues.
How Long Will Results Last?
The results of this treatment are known to last for several months at a time. After your goal results have been achieved, you can expect your results to last for as long as your new tissues remain healthy. For some who have degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis, you will likely need to have a repeat treatment in the future. However, while your results last, you will be able to live without pain or discomfort.
Who Are Good Candidates?
While most people are good potential candidates for this treatment, some people will not be qualified for shock wave therapy for arthritis. For example, people who have poor sensation or hypersensitivity in the desired treatment area are not eligible for this therapy. Women who are pregnant, patients who have heart conditions, and people who have a history of seizures are also not eligible. You should reschedule your treatment appointment if you have any open sores on the day of your treatment.
Improve Your Wellbeing With Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
From joint pain caused by arthritis to sexual health concerns caused by erectile dysfunction, ESWT is a good treatment option for most people. This highly customizable treatment is an effective solution to heal damaged tissues and restore your overall wellbeing.